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Monday 3 p.m. Dolphins report: Philbin, Lazor, Coyle address issues; Lots of notes

### Inconsistent week-to-week performances by Joe Philbin’s teams have been one of the hallmarks of his 36-game tenure as Dolphins coach (17-19 record), and nobody is more irked by that or cognizant of that than Philbin.

There have been a number of impressive wins in the two-plus seasons (at Indianapolis, twice against Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, New England twice, Seattle, among others) but also a fair share of embarrassing, puzzling losses.

This season has mirrored Philbin’s first two seasons: two resounding wins and two lopsided losses, one to a team (Buffalo) that hasn’t made the playoffs this century (the only NFL team that can say that) and another to a Kansas City team that entered 0-2 and without several top starters.

This team’s future, and probably Philbin’s, rest largely on whether the Dolphins --- and to a large extent, their quarterback - can snap out of that exasperating penchant of mixing dynamic games with dreadful ones.

“I am looking for consistency out of this team,” Philbin said Monday, a day after the Dolphins dismantled Oakland, 38-14, in London to move to 2-2 heading into the bye week. “I see things on tape I really like. We have to consistently put it together for 60 minutes. I told the team there is still a lot of untapped potential there, a lot of room for improvement.

“The one thing we talked to the team about is how do we capture momentum and how do you sustain it. There were periods of time we had momentum in the second half of those [two losses this month]. After the opening kickoff yesterday we grabbed some momentum. That’s one of the things we’ll pose to the ball club. Now we have to play at a consistently high level. It’s time. I told them before the game we‘ve been at this since July 24. We haven’t changed a lot. Let’s go out and play football."

### Safety Reshad Jones, suspended the first four games because of a violation of the league’s drug policy, is eligible to practice beginning Tuesday but the Dolphins do not need to reinstate him to the 53-man roster until next week, according to the team.

Philbin was guarded in discussing Jones. Can he be a contributor for the Green Bay game? "We’ll see," Philbin said, offering little else. 

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle sounded far more excited about having him back.

He said “we have to see where he is from a conditioning standpoint,” but wants to reincorporate him into the defense “as quickly as we can. He’s an outstanding player. We want to get him up to speed as fast as possible. He can be a difference maker for us.”

### Coyle also anticipates the return of linebacker Koa Misi from an ankle sprain. “Our depth is going to be better than it has been,” he said. “I’m excited because having a healthy Koa Misi makes our team better.”

### Jones’ return would suggest that he and Louis Delmas would start at safety, with Jimmy Wilson moving from safety back to nickel cornerback. But Coyle said there still should still be opportunities for Will Davis or Jamar Taylor against teams that play a lot of four-receiver sets, such as Green Bay, Miami’s next opponent on Oct. 12.

Taylor played more than Davis on Sunday (33 snaps to 23), and Coyle said the plan going into the game was to split their snaps.

### Philbin, on Tannehill and the offense Sunday: “He threw the ball well in practice last week. It was clicking. He made a heck of a throw on the opening drive of the second half. I like what [the offense] did. The production was good. The balance was good. There weren’t a lot of third and longs. That’s always helpful. [Oakland] came in 12th in the league in defense. We were able to keep them at bay. We got sloppy in the second half.”

### Here’s what offensive coordinator Bill Lazor liked about Tannehill Sunday, when he posted a 109 passer rating: “I felt like mentally, he was really on top of what was happening. He understood his mistakes. He will have a chance to learn from each of them.

“It shows the experience of the first three games and preseason is adding up for him. The way he acted and reacted on the sideline tells me he’s going to continue to learn. He was very accurate in the pocket on the route throw up the seam to Brian Hartline. He was accurate on a number of the quick catch-and-throw screens he threw to the outside, which seemed like a little thing, but aren’t always that easy."

Lazor, by the way, said whether Tannehill runs (he ran five times for 35 yards Sunday) would be based in large part on what the defense is showing.

“A lot of times that people think he has the option [of running], he doesn’t,” Lazor said, adding the opposite is also true.

### Philbin said he will use the two practices during the bye week (Tuesday and Wednesday) on areas that need work (“our third down offense isn’t great”), areas they haven’t gotten enough work on during games, plus some preparation for Green Bay.

### Philbin and Lazor were effusive in their praise of Mike Wallace.

“I go back to the OTAs when the whistle blew and practice was over and he was at the jugs machine catching 150 passes,” Philbin said. “His attitude has been better; his work ethic has been better. Good things happen when you’re busting your tail.”

Said Lazor: “When Mike comes to me on the sideline and tells me he can get open, right now I think Mike is putting his money where his mouth is. I’ve seen him break tackles on the field. I’ve seen him try to run through people and certainly it was fun to watch him kind of barrel his way into the end zone yesterday. He blocked very well on some of the screens to the other guys. I think you see Mike be a very productive blocker. I’m excited about the leadership by example that Mike is showing.”

### Lazor took the Wallace praise a step further, adding that “one of the things that stood out to me [Sunday] was the way our receivers played. You saw guys excited to have the ball in their hands. Working as hard as I have seen them work.

“They were physical blocking for each other on the perimeter. They started to develop an attitude of how they wanted to play with the ball in their hand." 

### Philbin was non-committal about whether he would stick with Jarvis Landry as his punt-returner or promote Marcus Thigpen from the practice squad. Landry has fumbled two punts, including one on Sunday, and his 5.7 punt return average ranks 20th in the league.

“We like what he’s done,” Philbin said of Landry. “He has made plays. He’s a playmaker.”

### Philbin, on Daniel Thomas, who ran for 35 yards on five carries: “I like what he did. He had a little bit of patience and you saw some acceleration through the hole.”

### Coyle’s defense enters the bye ranked seventh overall in the league --- 14th against the run and sixth against the pass.

“If we can pull it all together collectively, we can be a very good defense,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve played in any of the games, quite frankly, a full 60 minute game from start to finish. There were periods very good and then some lapses. The encouraging thing is we are taking the ball away” --- including Miami’s first three interceptions of the season on Sunday.

Also, “we have as many fumbles recovered as any team of the league [five], which has been an Achilles’ heel for us over the last couple of seasons. We are generating good pressure on the quarterback. Our rush defense was better yesterday. There are a lot of encouraging things. There is a lot of room to be optimistic.”

### Rookie defensive end Terrence Fede played 25 snaps Sunday and was a “little bit rusty [but] did a good job,” Coyle said. “He’s a guy that can make a contribution.”

### Lamar Miller is averaging a robust 5.7 yards per carry, second in the league behind Baltimore’s Justin Forsett at 5.8. “He’s an improving player,” Lazor said. “There were some areas coaches in the past felt he needed to improve.”

### Tight end Dion Sims played 46 of Miami’s 70 snaps Sunday --- more than starter Charles Clay’s 46.

Lazor said that was partly because of how the game played out but also because Sims excelled in practice last week. He said if players on this team believe their snaps will increase if they practice well, “it a great motivating factor.”          

### Other notable snap counts Sunday: Landry (31) again got narrowly more snaps than Brandon Gibson (30) at receiver, with Rishard Matthews getting 28…. Among running backs: Miller had 36 snaps, Thomas 21, Damien Williams 10 and Orleans Darkwa four…. Jason Fox played 16 of 70 snaps and Nate Garner 13 of 70 in place of injured Branden Albert and Samson Satele, who both expect to be fine for the Oct. 12 Packers game….

The Dolphins compensated for Randy Starks’ absence by giving 25 snaps to Anthony Johnson and 18 to DeAndre Coleman… Jordan Tripp made his Dolphins debut by playing on special teams and logging four snaps on defense… Derrick Shelby (38 snaps) played nearly as many defensive snaps as Cameron Wake (40).

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz